Sunday, March 30, 2008

georgia marathon weekend

the marathon is over! it was freezing outside...40 degrees and cloudy. i was dressed in my beyond clothing which kept me as warm as possible for having to stand around in the wind by the finish line. unfortunately, i couldn't feel my hands at all, though.

eddie dropped me off at 6:30am because i had to carry a bunch of stuff to the race. however, i was able to have someone else take it home so i decided to run back home after i was done working. it was funny, the first 3/4 mile or so, i was running opposite of the racers on the course. these were all people that would finish the marathon in 5:00 or so...and never ever have i seen so many people crying in a race!! if they weren't crying, it looked like they were about to. i, on the other hand, had a very enjoyable run was only 45 minutes or so, but it felt good to do something. i'm thinking that running is not bad as long as you have a destination.

recovery week is over..just as the weather has gotten cold and the rain has moved in for the week. i did sign eddie and myself up for a 13 hour mountain bike race this coming weekend, though, it better not get rained out!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

bars bars and more bars

That's all I ate today! One day down, two more to go. I hope the weather holds out for the Georgia marathon on Sunday. While 58 degrees, cloudy and a 30% chance of rain sounds perfect for the runners, it IS NOT perfect for me who will have to sit outside all day during it. It makes me wish I was actually running it, instead. :(

Thursday, March 27, 2008

oh, the embarassment

i did my first intown group road ride in 2 years today! the buckhead bellyache..otherwise known as the thursday night ego-fest, haha. just kidding. anyway, i got dropped by my friend mark b. who was on a mountain bike. YES, i was on a ROAD bike and he was on a MOUNTAIN bike. how embarassing. it was insane how these people hammer up the climbs! i mean, aren't the climbs hard enough as is? my tempo pace didn't cut it because before i knew it, everyone in front of me was sprinting up this climb (pretty long one, with 3 stair steps..the home depot hills for those that know). i could have caught back up after that (maybe), but i got stuck in traffic with some other roadies that like to weave in and out of traffic. to me, it wasn't worth my life or pissing off drivers just to catch up with the i rode the rest with about 8-10 other guys. so, other than the less-than-civilized climbing pace, it was actually pretty fun. i want to do more of this as i'd like to get into some road racing when i get my new bike. i need it for the fitness, and it's good for business.

by the way, i just realized people were confused about my comment on somebody thinking i'm boring...i guess my links don't show up highlighted but anyway, it was a joke..really nothing to get upset about. to see what i was talking about go here: link.


and some other pics taken in the fool's gold route area...
yeah, i rode winding stair..up!

sun setting...getting chilly....ridge on fs 42

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

what would you think...

if you saw 2 men riding on pink singlespeeds, together?

just wondering.

i did manage to get a photo, will upload later.

and, thanks dicky for the sage advice. he said i'd be better off running a sus fork and fixed. maybe i'll take 1/2 your advice.

edit: ouch! evidently, some people think I'm boring..either boring to look at or just boring? Hmm..maybe I should add more drunk pics of my girlfriends and me on my blog..or wear less clothes...I guess it IS getting warmer out. Maybe I could organize a pillow fight and post the pics on my blog. Maybe my blog is too bike related. Hmm....what to do?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

decisions decisions

We are now less than one month out from the first big race of the year: 24 hours of Vail Lake. I've never traveled that far for a race..the furthest I've gone is Colorado and that wasn't even a 24 hour race. This is a bit different because not only do we have to deal with travel and the time change, we also have to deal with transporting large amounts of gear (2 bikes per person, pit equipment--most of which I think we are borrowing, lights, bottles, clothes, spare parts, etc.) Oh, and I need to be back in school on Monday!! Ugh. Vassago is generously setting up all the logistics for us, so that is awesome.

I'm getting a little stressed because I barely have one working bike at this point. I've put so many miles on my Jabberwocky that it's in need of a major overhaul. I have a worn out bottom bracket, loose spokes, and zero brake pads among other things. Luckily my new brakes are in, I just have to mount 'em up. As for what bike I'm racing this year...I'm really not sure yet. I am hoping for something of the ti variety but I guess it will be a surprise! I do know that these guys should be expecting a long visit from me sometime soon as I have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks to get two race ready bikes shipped out in time.

So, the decision I need to make is: SS Gearing? I'm thinking 32x20. And, Rigid or WB Magic 80? The course is Temecula...but I have never raced there. It seems like it's pretty buff for the most part. If anyone has advice, I'd appreciate it.

I think I'll finally get back on the bike tomorrow..I have been binge riding lately and have taken 3 days off again this week. We're going to Gainesville, GA to show this guy some trails that are a little more SS friendly than the Fool's Gold stuff. I do know the weather will be great the next few days (it actually snowed yesterday!)..but too bad I have to work all weekend at the Georgia Marathon. Oh well, I guess it's forcing me to finally take a whole recovery week.


He is doing much better. Thanks for all the emails of concern. He is a tuff guy and has been getting better every day! He might have some permanent scarring on his face, but if that is the worst that results from the snake attack then that's cool with me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bicycle Relay and fundraiser @ Octane Coffee

Andrew Kornylak Photos may have already seen them

Endurance Racing Clinics in Georgia

Click the image to enlarge

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I posted that last picture of Porter this afternoon because it just fit my mood perfectly today. What I didn't know is that at about the same time I posted it my sweet dog was bit by a poisonous snake while he was in the woods with Eddie. We rushed him to the ER and he is on antihistamines, antibiotics, and pain meds. Poor guy. I feel awful for him. I hope he makes a 100% recovery but only time will tell. I have no idea what kind of snake it was, but it was either a copperhead, rattler, or cottonmouth. Bastard.

Thanks to Carey for her much needed advice. I called her on Easter Sunday because I know she's the expert and she was nice enough to take the time to help on her day off.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


If training camp ended last week, then why am I not able to move right now? I just rode 17 hours with Danielle in 3 days and I'm officially broken. I didn't think I could do anything further after yesterday's 8 hour death march...but something possessed us to want to ride another 5 hours today. It was supposed to be recovery but it definitely wasn't. I actually am surprised we could finish today's ride and even better....we drank beers afterwards. She's leaving tomorrow and I'm bummed 'cause I don't have any female training partners here! Oh well, we just need to find Scott a job down south so they can move here.

I think the plan for my Sunday will be sleeping in followed by a short recovery ride (for real, this time) and a visit to the pub for Easter, it's the O'Dea family tradition.

Alive...or...Dumb and Dumber go for a ride

What you are about to read is a story about two women embarking on an adventure in the mountains of Georgia and Tennesee, without a clue. If you are not prepared to learn how dumb these women are, then stop reading now.

Danielle and I planned to ride the 68 mile Forest Road loop of the Cohutta 100 race for our training ride yesterday. The plan was to start at 11am and finish by 4pm or so. We were going to park at the Bear Creek trailhead and ride up to Potatopatch to get on the course, so we added a few miles and some bonus footies to the already difficult course.

We got a late start from the house because I had to finish up a school assignment. Then, on the way out the door, it occured to me to look at a map and write down the major turns of the course. I had only ridden it once, and Danielle had only ridden it twice..all times in the Cohutta 100 race. I wasn't too worried, because it was a big loop of just gravel roads and I thought I'd recognize the few turns there were, anyway.

We arrived at the parking lot at 12:30pm. Even if we were going to take 6-7 hours to finish the loop we'd still have plenty of daylight left. I was pretty apprehensive about my SS gearing choice as it was quite a bit more stout than the one I rode in the race last year. As we were packing up, I realized I forgot the directions. Oh well, I thought we would be fine without them. We did make sure to pack cell phones in case we needed them. What we didn't pack, however, was a map, pump, knife or gun, compass, or enough water. We both brought along 4 bottles for the ride and thought that would be sufficient. Danielle had one tube and 2 CO2s, plus a sealant. I had one tube air. I pumped my 29er tires up to close to 40psi and hoped for no flats.

After the first "warm-up" climb to Potatopatch, we both had to stop to adjust our packs. I hadn't worn a pack for riding in longer than I can remember. The next hour or so went without incident....Then, Danielle's rear brake was acting up and making a really strange sound. We stopped to check it out, but didn't really know how to fix it. We kept going. Then, I realized Danielle's rear tire was really low. She's running Stans so just put some more sealant in there and we hoped for the best, even though the tire was still low.

We made it to a campground (somewhere around the 4th SAG stop of the 100 mile course) and saw 2 guys at their campsite. We spotted a bicycle wheel leaning against the truck. We both assumed it was a father and son and thought nothing of it, so rode up to the campsite and asked if they had a tire pump. What we didn't realize is that we should never have approached these people...they It wasn't a father and son at all. They let all the air out of her rear tire and were asking some weird questions. Danielle told them that we didn't have much further to go and that we had our husbands waiting for us. We had no choice and had to use one of her CO2 cartridges to fill the tire back up, but luckily it worked and we got the hell out of there. I kept looking over my shoulder for the next 45 minutes.

The next hour or so was also fine, though I don't remember those long steeps from the race..I must have been pretty fresh during it because I had to walk one section yesterday. Then, about 4 hours in, I jinxed us and said how we were making great time because we only had about 20-25 miles left. That's when it happened....we missed a turn. We spent an hour riding up and down big hills trying to figure out where to go. We were second guessing everything and even rode by a really creepy place that had about 10 dogs that were all chained to their own dog house in the yard. There were chickens wandering around, and lots of junk everywhere. I thought that surely I would have remembered this in the race, but I tend to be oblivious sometimes. At one point, we were on a paved road (WRONG!) so far off course and decided to pull out the cell phone. Luckily Danielle's phone worked and we were able to connect with Eddie who read us the directions from our last known point, the Tumbling Creek Campground. It took us awhile to get back there, and from then on I was still confused but we were apparently finally back on course.

I figured we may have wasted an hour at the most, so we might still have two hours left of riding at that point. We encountered another sketchy vehicle with a single male in it...and again looking over our shoulder every few minutes. Neither of us remembered any of the next several miles from the race. I "knew" it had to be right, but I still doubted everything. It was getting dark and we seemed to spend much longer down low by the river than either of us remembered. We both tried not to get frustrated and panic as we knew it would make things worse. Finally, the road started to climb again so I was hopeful that the Mountaintown Creek turnoff would appear soon. didn't. Not even close. The climbing at this point was really taking a toll. My legs were shot but I don't know what kept me pedaling...the will to live, I guess.

Finally, we saw the Mountaintown Creek trailhead so I knew we had about 7 miles to go until Potatopatch, the final and dreaded climb...but I didn't care because it was the sign that we were close. But, not that close. I don't know how long it took to climb that, but it was too long. The sun set and we found ourselves in complete darkness. There was a full moon but it was hidden by the huge mountain we were climbing. Every climb we did I thought was the last climb. But, it wasn't. There was always one more. We were both silent and just trying not to cry. We were cold, scared, and exhausted. Nothing seemed real....I was seeing things as by this point I was beyond dehydrated and bonked. Food didn't seem to help anything, I needed water. At one point, I just had to walk because I couldn't see anything. I hopped off and started pushing and couldn't even see Danielle who was standing in the middle of the road 10 feet in front of me. Walking was just as bad as riding (I don't know how many times I smacked my pedal into my shin) so we decided to start pedaling again. Finally, things seemed to flatten out and the cold breeze got stronger. I felt this HAD to be the top, but I was so sick of being disappointed that when we finally did reach Potatopatch I was so delirious that I didn't even believe it. We had been riding for 8 hours. I looked at the sign at Potatopatch and realized that it really was true...we were there. Now we just had to cruise downhill on the gravel to the car. That was still a slow process but we arrived in one piece. There was a truck coming up the road and both of us panicked..for some reason we had been so scared this whole time that we didn't want anyone to see us. We threw our bikes on the car and got the hell out of there. We didn't even change because we just wanted to get off that mountain. We called Eddie around 9pm and he was not real happy with us. Apparently, I had told him that if we weren't home by 8 then he should start worrying. He had expected us to be done several hours earlier and when he didn't hear from us he starting calling everyone he knows in North Georgia. They even placed a 911 call for us and people were getting ready to send out the S&R. When he heard we were OK, they called the search off and breathed a sigh of relief. I had no idea we made him that worried and I felt awful about it.

So, we were lucky that despite the lack of preparedness we made it out with no real problems. Here's the list of mechanicals we had during the ride:

Danielle: Rear brake, rear flat
Namrita: Loose chain (no way to tighten), loose spoke, no brake pads, and front skewer not holding

And, of course we learned several basic lessons (that we should probably already know!):

- Always carry a map and/or directions (at the very least)
- If you are going out into the wilderness alone or with two females, carry some protection
- Carry a CO2 AND a pump
- Carry two tubes
- Bring more water than you think you will need or a way to filter water
- Carry a light
- Don't accept candy from strangers

We were supposed to ride the Fool's Gold course today, but I have to say that after 8 hours on the SS and 10-12,000 feet of climbing, I'm completely wrecked. We are staying close to home and I'm riding my road bike where it's flat. Now that I got a taste of it, I have decided that this type of riding (Trans-Georgia unsupported, Great Divide Race style) is not for me.

Thanks to everyone that volunteered to help Eddie yesterday. I'm quite embarassed about it and it won't happen again. It's crazy how how remote these areas are even though they don't seem like it in a race. Right now, I'm just glad I am NOT racing the 100 miler. I don't ever want to ride that loop again with one gear. Danielle will do great, though, I'm sure of it. She rode everything in her middle ring...that girl can climb. At least nothing in the race can seem as hard and long as it did yesterday!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Time for an update

I'm still here! I took 3 days off the bike after our Sunday climbing fest in Ellijay. I didn't do anything except study, attempt to clean the house, and run for 30 minutes. Oh, I did drink way too much beer Wednesday night, though, and ate a HUUUUGE burger and a million french fries. Probably not a good idea since the riding resumed again today. We did 4 hours early this morning before my afternoon class and it kicked my butt (or maybe it was my hangover that did that). I took Danielle to Fort Yargo for some "easy" riding so we could ease into it before tomorrow and Saturday (we're going to do the Cohutta gravel loop and then the Fool's Gold course). We're stalling right now and blog-surfing before we meet Eddie for an afternoon spin on the neighborhood trail. Anyway, we'll try to take some pix the next two days..I know it's been awhile since I've posted any. My camera is DEAD! :(

(edit): We rode the neighborhood trail after all. Here's a couple pix Danielle snapped..

Lovely place for a "break", huh?

Monday, March 17, 2008


The new brakes are here! The new brakes are here!

I've been really excited for these to show up since my Juicy 7s have been on their last legs for quite a while now and limping along. White Strokers, baby! Huge thanks to Hayes for sending made my day :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008


And recovery week! I made it. I came in a little low on my goal for hours but it doesn't matter because I'm wrecked! Riding with these four enduro nuts is hard hard work (but really fun). I don't even have the energy to go into more detail than that right now. I'm still digesting my post-ride meal that consisted of Taco Bell AND I'm not kidding. I am taking a couple days off and then Danielle is coming back for more..I'm excited, I don't often get to hang out with really fun girls that ride bikes long and fast and drink beer too. :)

Once again, all pics and details are on Danielle's blog so go there.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

i should mention

i feel like i was in a car wreck. do yourself a favor and check all the bolts on your bike periodically. unfortunately, my chiropractor is out of the office today and tomorrow....i guess i will have to rely on ice and vitamin I for now.

i tried the new dedicated athlete rapidaid flavors AND the new recovery drink so good. i usually hate recovery drinks and i'm really impressed with this one. and, rapidaid is just my favorite drink period. even if you didn't like the minty-freshness of the trial flavor, you will like the orange and the grape. get some.

i wanted to head out on the bike today for a few hours of easy road riding but unfortunately this thing called school work cannot be put off any longer. i have an exam and a paper to write for monday...and i really want to ride with the pain train again on sunday after the race. that means i might be short on hours for my 2-week painfest, but oh well...i do have other responsibilities. i hate that. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ouch..starting to hurt a little bit

Today was a 5 hour ride at Chilhowee with some majorly fast mountain bike chicks. We rode some singletrack and fireroads...but I swear it felt like ALL we did was climb. I had one mishap where my headset was loose and all of a sudden (seriously,I was just riding along) the next thing I know I'm on the ground and it hurt. I stood up and shook it off and went to get back on my bike and my handlebars were cocked to the left and my front wheel was pointing to the right. This is how Shelly broke her collarbone on one of the gravel roads at ORAMM a few years ago, so I'm glad I didn't get hurt. I called Eddie after the ride to tell him and he was like "oh yeah, you need to check that once in a while since you are running a rigid fork". Oh well, that was news to me. Anyway, the day ended with a techy descent (some of it was plain unrideable) and then a log crossing. Carey crossed the log on foot, carrying her bike, in about 30 seconds. Then, it was my turn. In case you don't know, I am terrified of heights..and this was only 3 feet off the ground. It took me like 5 minutes to get across and I'm just happy my bike and I didn't end up in the water. Then, it was Danielle's turn. She was a little shaky also but luckily we all made it across unscathed. Yes, Carey must think we are the BIGGEST WIMPS in the world. I don't deny it, trust will NEVER see me at La Ruta for the sole reason that I don't want to die crossing the trestle. Danielle has pics up here.

Today hurt. My legs are toast. I'm getting a little worried about the 6 hour but I know I shouldn't. I never planned for this to be an 'A' fact, it's not even a 'C' race, but I don't really want to go embarass myself out there :) Anyway, I think I will still ride on Thursday but take Friday off..or do an easy hour spin on Friday.

So far I am at 43 hours of riding in 12 days. The goal is to be at 60 hours by this Sunday...eek that is a long way to pedal from here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I'm very good

I've finally, after a few years of racing now, nailed my sports nutrition. I've now got 36 hours on the bike in 9 days with no bonking, no upset stomach, and still plenty of fire left to ride more. This is huge for me as stomach issues and bonks have constantly plagued me over the years. I've also steadily been dropping a few pounds of body fat and keeping and gaining muscle. Good stuff. I love going to school for something practical.

OK, time to drink a beer. :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

6 down, 1 to another big week ahead

We just spent the last two days riding mountain bikes around Dahlonega. 9 hours of mostly gravel griding with a bit of exploration and sweet bits of singletrack thrown in. I'm still feeling "ok", but have lost the snappiness I felt earlier in the week. I guess 27 hours in 6 days will do that. Anyway, I have one more day on the road today...3 hours and then I can rest a bit on Saturday (well, not really since I will be a pedaling model at the Triathlon Expo all day). I have another big week next week and will finish it out with a 6 hour race on March 15 and another long one the day after. Then, it's Eddie O'Dea's favorite holiday..St. Patrick's Day! We'll deserve more than a few that day!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

4 down, 3 to go

We're 4 days in with 18 hours in the saddle. I'm still feeling good, surprisingly! Well, I guess maybe it's not so surprising as I have been taking really good care of myself from a nutrition and recovery standpoint. Stretching, foam rolling, sleeping, and constant energy intake (i.e. eating tons and tons of food). Yesterday we waited for the rain to clear and went for a 50 mile ride on the Silver Comet rail trail. The headwind going out was unreal..I felt like I was barely moving. It took us an hour and a half to get out and and hour and 15 mins to get back. The last 4 miles or so were at a fast pace, fast enough that I felt like jello when I got off the bike. We're heading back up to Dahlonega today for a few more days of riding and then coming back in time for the Concourse Tri Expo where 55nine Performance will be showing off Wobble-naught bike fitting and Dartfish video analysis. Stop by our booth if you are planning to be there!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Spring Training Camp

15 hours in 3 days! Training is going so well. I've noticed a HUGE difference since just one session with the video analysis last week when Tom and Eddie worked with me on my technique. HUGE! I went to see Dr. Josh Glass yesterday because I had built up some tightness associated with not riding much for 5 weeks. Today I feel incredible and am anxious to get on with the training hours for the week.

My new Aerus Carbon Wing bars...soooo nice.

Fun with big wheels at Fort Yargo State Park. By the way, the group that builds and maintains these trails, YABA, should be commended on what they have done out there. Every time I go out there are more new trails to ride..and they do most of it by hand. These are my favorite local trails to ride. Roller coaster fun with some newer tough punchy climbs added in lately.

Climbing up to Cooper Gap, the first big climb of the Fool's Gold 50/100 route. I'm really happy to have my mountain gear on the SS again.

Trying out Eddie's new Light and Motion Stella on the helmet. I liked it a lot. Seems like the perfect helmet light for night racing.
I will update more later in the week!